ITIL Information Technology Infrastructure Library
ITIL or Information Technology Infrastructure Library is the most popular I.T. Service Management framework. It is based on global best practices in I.T. Services.
It is important to employ such best practices properly in I.T. Services. You will achieve higher productivity, lower costs, raised team morale and better customer experience etc.
The set of practices that ITIL provides, help you to align I.T. services with the real needs of customer. Customers feel more satisfied when the I.T service is thus aligned with their real needs. With ITIL practices in place, customers will have a great experience with the I.T. Services.
When customers are highly satisfied with their experience of the I.T. Services, they trust the I.T. Service team more. This in turn paves the way for stronger relationship.
Thus ITIL definitely makes business relationships better.
Who is AXELOS Ltd.?
AXELOS Ltd. owns Information Technology Infrastructure Library. Axelos is a joint venture between HM Cabinet Office and Capita Plc.
AXELOS manage the changes to concepts of the ITIL framework, as they own it. Any organisation that wants to use ITIL in its I.T. Services must get a license to do so from AXELOS Ltd.
AXELOS Ltd have certain institutes act as their partners to conduct ITIL Exams with their brand. These are called ITIL accredited examination institutes.
What are ITIL Volumes?
In its current form, ITIL 2011 consists of 5 volumes. They are
1. Service Strategy
2. Service Design
3. Service Transition
4. Service Operation
5. Continual Service Improvement
ITIL Overview at a high level:
As mentioned above, Information Technology Infrastructure Library in its current form consists of 5 volumes, each covering a specific area of I.T. Services.
ITIL Service Strategy
ITIL Service Strategy is the pivot of the Service Management Framework as it deals with how the overall I.T. Service of the business is defined. In its current form, Service Strategy consists of five processes, each serving a specific purpose or area.
The five Service Strategy processes are:
- Strategy Management for I.T. Services
- Service Portfolio Management
- Financial Management for I.T. services
- Demand Management
- Business Relationship Management
A business needs a clear and easy to manage strategy for its I.T. Services. Strategy Management for I.T. services serves the same purpose by means of assessment of the Service Provider.
What the service provider has to offer, their capabilities, how they compare to their competitors, their current and potential market images are some of the things that help in this.
A Service Provider must have the right mix of resources to serve as per the need of the customer. I.T. Service Portfolio Management serves the purpose of making sure the I.T. Service Provider can indeed provide such services at a good cost. It does so by ensuring that the I.T. Service Provider does have the services in place as such.
It is important that an I.T. Service Provider manage their budget, accounts and other finance functions as per law in the service life time. Financial Management of I.T. Services serves this objective for the I.T. Services.
An I.T. Service Provider need to be able to understand what I.T. services the customer needs. This helps the I.T. Service Provider estimate and influence the type and level of I.T. services that the customer needs from time to time. All such activities are covered by the I.T. Demand Management and help us manage the I.T. Service in an efficient and effective way.
It is vital that all the stakeholders work well with each one for the good cause of a great business. They must have very good relationship with one and each. This purpose is served by I.T. Business Relationship Management.
ITIL Service Design
The ITIL Service Design phase of the Service Management Framework involves a step by step approach to design a robust, efficient and long-lasting structure for the I.T. Service Management.
This is based on a clear understanding of the best of I.T. practices, processes, policies and governing principles and applying these to the I.T. Service Design.
The eight ITIL Service Design processes of the Service Management Framework are:
- Design Coordination
- Service Catalogue Management
- Service Level Management
- Availability Management
- Capacity Management
- I.T. Service Continuity Management
- Information Security Management System
- Supplier Management
ITIL Service Transition
The ITIL Service Transition phase of Service Management Framework helps with the planning and managing the implementation of products and services built during Service Strategy and Service Design stages.
This focus on the ITIL Service Transition processes, practices and management techniques to build, test and implement the products and services helps the business with great long term gains.
The seven ITIL Service Transition processes of the Service Management Framework are:
- Transition Planning and Support
- Change Management
- Service Asset and Configuration Management
- Release and Deployment Management
- Service Validation and Testing
- Change Evaluation
- Knowledge Management
ITIL Service Operation
The ITIL Service Operation phase of I.T. Service Management Framework covers the processes and techniques that are essential to provide the agreed levels of service to a business.
ITIL Service Operation includes the best practices for the business users and customers and the technology required to provide the services.
The five ITIL Service Operation processes of Service Management Framework are:
- Event Management
- Incident Management
- Request Fulfilment
- Problem Management
- Identity management
ITIL Continual Service Improvement
ITIL Continual Service Improvement means employing the best practices always and then improving on the same as time goes on and business expands. This also means lessons learned are used to update the processes to take the full benefit of these in I.T. Service.
The ITIL Continual Service Improvement is applied to all stages of Service Design, Service Transition and Service Operation in a 7 step process.
These seven steps of the ITIL Continual Service Improvement of Service Management Framework are:
- Identify the strategy for Improvement
- Define what you will Measure
- Gather the Data
- Process the Data
- Analyse the Information and data
- Present and use the Information
- Implement the Improvement
ITIL can safely be implemented along-side I.T. Methodologies and Frameworks such as COBIT, Six Sigma, TOGAF, ISO 27000 and ISO/IEC 20000.
Please note that COBIT is an IT Governance and Controls framework.
Benefits of ITIL
What benefits does ITIL bring for the Business?
It has been proved that Organizations that employed ITSM best practices described in ITIL achieved higher productivity, optimized costs, and improved customer experience etc.
The below are some of the benefits that an Organization can achieve by implementing Information Technology Infrastructure Library.
- I.T. Services remain aligned with the Business needs.
- I.T. Services can Support the Business Outcomes and can help with the Change that the Business aims to achieve.
- I.T. Services can negotiate Service Levels that can be achieved in practice.
- The Business can expect an optimized Customer Experience with the I.T. Services and so can hope to be more fruitful in their dealings.
- With ITIL in place, one can see predictable and consistent processes and services that can be measured and improved in practice.
- helps improve efficiency in the delivery of I.T. Service to a great extent.
- helps ease Management of Risk in line with the business needs.
- provides a common language for all to use in their role.
- offers great value for money.
- helps achieve improvement at a continuous rate in many areas of a I.T. function.
What benefits does ITIL bring for a Professional?
ITIL or Information Technology Infrastructure Library empowers a professional with sound knowledge and expertise of leading edge I.T. Service Concepts. With the help of such knowledge and expertise, the professional can provide world class I.T. Services to the Business.
Some examples of what an ITIL professional can do differently than others are:
- One can be more efficient and effective in one’s workplace by learning and mastering ITIL tools, techniques and concepts and using the same.
- With the help of ITIL framework, one can use one’s time more wisely by focussing more on activities that add high value than those that add less.
- The common terminology that ITIL provides, helps one to communicate more effectively and clearly with all as whole business speaks same language.
- An ITIL professional can feel more confident about one’s plans by employing the best practices and be an influential part of any business change.
Main milestones in the history of ITIL:
- 1980’s: Both government and private agencies created their own I.T. practices to suit them independent of each other, giving rise to great deal of confusion. C.C.T.A. published a set of recommendations for standard I.T. practices to address this confusion.
- 1989-96: ITIL v.1 was published broadly based on Edwards Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act or P.D.C.A. Cycle and eventually expanded to over 30 volumes.
- 2000: C.C.T.A. subsumed into O.G.C.
- 2000-01: ITIL v.2 was published with 9 logical sets.
- 2006: ITIL v.2 Glossary was published.
- 2007: ITIL v.3 was published in volumes made up of 26 processes and functions.
- 2009: O.G.C. announced the withdrawal of ITIL v.2 certification.
- 2011: ITIL new edition was published with update to 2007 publication.
ITIL Qualifications for You to take:
ITIL provides a set of qualifications in a tiered structure for you with the flexibility and choice to suit your own key areas of interest.
The ITIL qualifications in increasing order of complexity are:
ITIL Foundation Level
The ITIL Foundation level involves a basic understanding and awareness of the main concepts and terms from the Service Life Cycle.
ITIL Foundation Exam is a 60 minute, closed book exam with 40 multiple choice questions. A person is required to get at least 26 answers right out of the 40, to pass the Foundation Exam.
This is the beginning of the journey for someone who would like to progress upwards.
ITIL Practitioner Level
The ITIL Practitioner level is newly introduced.
Practitioner level is little more complex than the Foundation level and the main focus is on Continuous Service Improvement.
It is designed to help one to progress further on one’s understanding and awareness.
ITIL Intermediate Level
The Intermediate level is very famous all over the world. This qualification is offered separately for Service Life Cycle and Service Capability.
A candidate may chose to take one or more of these modules for the exam.
To appear for ITIL Intermediate level exam, one needs to receive formal training. This formal training can be taken from an A.T.O. (Accredited Training Organisation).
A candidate who does self-study will not qualify for Intermediate Exam.
ITIL Expert Level
The ITIL Expert level qualification requires one to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of all of ITIL concepts.
This level of qualification is well known for the benefits it gives candidates in both personal as well as professional growth.
A candidate needs to achieve Expert level qualification before progressing to the Master level which is the highest ITIL qualification.
ITIL Master Level
The ITIL Master level is the top qualification. To be eligible for Master level, a candidate must have worked in a leadership role in I.T. Service Management.
A candidate must have had experience of applying a range of concepts, methods, principles and techniques etc. and must have already attained Expert level.
* You may find these sample question papers useful.
ITIL Framework provides with a set of roles and requires appropriate persons assigned to these so that they can take care of work.
The roles in Service Strategy are:
- Business Relationship Manager
- Demand Manager
- Financial Manager
- I.T. Steering Group (I.S.G.)
- Service Portfolio Manager
- Service Strategy Manager
The roles in Service Design are:
- Service Owner
- Applications Analyst
- Availability Manager
- Capacity Manager
- Compliance Manager
- Enterprise Architect
- Information Security Manager
- IT Service Continuity Manager
- Risk Manager
- Service Design Manager
- Service Level Manager
- Supplier Manager
- Technical Analyst
The roles and boards in Service Transition are:
- Application Developer
- Change Advisory Board (CAB)
- Change Manager
- Configuration Manager
- Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB)
- Knowledge Manager
- Project Manager
- Release Manager
- Test Manager
The roles and boards in Service Operation are:
- 1st Level Support
- 2nd Level Support
- 3rd Level Support
- Access Manager
- Facilities Manager
- Incident Manager
- IT Operations Manager
- IT Operator
- Major Incident Team
- Problem Manager
- Service Request Fulfilment Group
The roles in Continual Service Improvement are:
- CSI Manager
- Process Architect
- Process Owner
The roles outside the I.T. organization are:
- Service User
The roles and responsibilities may be documented in the RACI-Matrix.